Uptown Greenville, NC


Attends® Healthcare Products, Inc. Named 2009-2010 Pitt County Industry of the Year

Greenville, NC (February 23, 2010) - Attends® Healthcare Products, Inc. ("Attends®") has been selected as Pitt County's Industry of the Year for 2010. Each year, the Pitt County Development Commission requests nominations from Pitt County citizens to recognize a manufacturer or distributor that has surpassed the already high corporate standards in our community. Attends® exemplifies the criteria for selection which include human, social, economic and environmental sustainability.

Attends® is a nationally known brand name that has been in existence since the early 80’s when it pioneered the disposable adult incontinence market. Attends® Healthcare Products manufactures, distributes and markets many of the most trusted and well known disposable medical products used by hospitals, long-term care facilities, and the growing home-care market. Their vision is to be the preferred provider of incontinence solutions for their customers, caregivers and consumers consistent with financial performance supporting continuous growth, reinvestment and employee development.

In 2009, Attends® moved all manufacturing operations to Pitt County and operates solely from its headquarters and manfacturing facility in Greenville, NC, adding 39 jobs. Over the past year, Attends® invested more than $15 million in new equipment to provide additional capacity, improve the quality of products and reduce the amount of raw materials consumed during the manufacture of products.

Safety is part of the culture at Attends®. On May 21, 2009, Attends® reached a remarkable milestone by operating one year without a recordable injury. Even more remarkable, Attends® reached two million hours without a lost time injury on July 11, 2009.

In the past year, Attends® hired a Lean Certified Director and a Six Sigma Master Black Belt to build an enterpise-wide system for training and execution of both Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma. These investments will not only create efficient processes, but will enhance the knowledge and skills of employees.

As a testament to product quality, Attends® averages only 1.16 customer complaints per one million products sold. To achieve this, Attends® makes the necessary investments in training and equipment to ensure high standards of quality. During the past year, Attends® spent $150,000 on new testing equipment and renovations to their laboratory facility. They also invested $500,000 in state-of-the-art vision systems that operate at high production speeds to automatically inspect ever product produced.

In 2009, Attends® implemented a new transportation plan that reduced the number of outbound trucks by over 8%, therefore reducing emissions and fuel consumption. They also modified their recycling plan by finding vendors that would purchase their waste materials and use them in other manufacturing processes. Not only does this new methodology improve their environmental impact, but also helps other companies improve theirs.

Attends® gives back to the community by making contributions including $10,000 to the Pitt County Schools Dropout Prevention Program and a $25,000 commitment to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Eastern, NC. With approximately 263 employees, many volunteer their time as coaches, school volunteers, Boy and Girl Scout leaders and advisory council members. Attends® has partnered with the ECU Educational Foundation to provide support for student athletes and has provided real-world experience for several ECU interns.

The Pitt County Development Commission is proud to honor Attends® for their outstanding commitment to quality, their employees, the environment and their community.

Since 1997, the Pitt County Economic Developement has named an Industry of the Year. Previous recipients include NACCO, The Roberts Company, Grady-White Boats, ASMO, Winterville Machine Works, The Hammock Source, AccuCopy, DSM and Metrics.

Attends® will be honored at the annual Existing Industry Reception on February 23, 2010. The reception is sponsored by the Pitt County Development Commmission and Greenville Utilities Commision.